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At Least I Didn't Toss the Monkey

The last few weeks I've been living the life of a workaholic's widow. Dan, who normally goes out of his way to put family before career, has run into some serious deadlines and for the first time in our marriage has been working a ton of overtime consistently. I miss him. I worry about him. And I worry about all the women who are either single or raising kids alone because their spouse just isn't there the way they need him to be.

If the logs crackle loud enough, you can't hear the dust bunnies laughing

It's been 3 weeks of this and I've started feeling entitled to all sorts of bad behavior as compensation for my loneliness. I don't really make dinner anymore. I make sure the kids eat but it's not really anything that could honestly be classified as "dinner."

Tonight I watched 3 hours of mindless TV drama by a warm fire while playing a computer game in my pajamas, surrounded by small plastic toys, unfolded laundry, matchbox cars and a giant pack of swim diapers that Magoo will likely never wear. Whenever I started to notice the mess, I would inch closer to the fire and turn up the volume on the TV so I couldn't hear the dust mites cackling with glee at their unrestricted reign of terror.

I drank 2 large glasses (approximately 500 calories) of orange juice and I don't even have a sore throat. I just needed something to help rinse down the mini pizza I ate for dinner and to serve as a fruit/vegetable for the meal.

I stood my neighbor up for our workout session again this morning. She stood me up last time we were supposed to work out and I stood her up the time before that. We planned to do all our workouts together but instead we've ended up taking turns working out. I have to admit that I get more benefit from the workouts on the days I actually show up at the gym but I am grateful that she's keeping the ball rolling for me the other days.

When Dan and I got hitched, he brought one stuffed animal into the marriage. It was ugly, it made noises and he got it from another girl. I've been wanting it gone for several years now and he's been holding onto it (I surmise) because he knows it drives me nuts. So this week I packed up all our extraneous stuff and took it to Good Will. I tossed Dan's loud ugly ex-girlfriend monkey into the boxes. I drove it out to the drop-off. I donated it. I got back in my car and drove away. I put the car in reverse. I drove back. I asked the lady to give me back the monkey. I drove home.

I just can't discard Dan's personal effects while he's working overtime. I can cease to make dinner, let the house become a disaster, watch TV in front of a warm fireplace while inhaling calories at an alarming rate and stay up way past my bedtime but I still have some standards. I didn't abandon the monkey and I haven't harmed the children in any way even though their actions this week have shown that they greatly miss their dad and could really use his influence in their lives to quell the storms of whininess, fighting and yelling, "It's not fair!"

I like to think that if I ever became an actual single mom, I'd handle the pressure much better than I've been handling it lately. I like to think I'd find a rhythm somehow and start acting like a grownup. I also like to think I'd be a very wealthy single mom who could hire a full time cleaning lady.


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